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Topic: Recommendations on workflow?

  1. #1

    Recommendations on workflow?

    Hi - I\'m relatively new at sequencing and samplers. Over the past few months, I\'ve purchased some tools (Sonar 3P, GPO, Silver, and some non-sampling VSTs like DR-008) and have just been learning the tools, midi, etc.

    I\'m now ready to do a real project - so I purchased the full score to John William\'s Olympic Fanfare and Theme. While I\'m passing on composition, I do know there is a lot to learn on getting the right sounds layered correctly with the right midi data, as well as final mixing - and that\'s what I want to focus on right now.

    The workflow I envisioned was to

    1. Input the various parts, using dry placeholder sounds, either live via keyboard or by drawing the notes(any recommendations?)

    2. Going back through and setting up the proper sound groups for each track.

    3. Setting note velocities where appropriate and then drawing in the appropriate controller data.

    4. Introduing the reverb and other effects

    5. Mix down.

    I\'d probably do 16 measures for each instrument just for positive reinforcement of hearing it come together.

    I know I can\'t gain 10 years experience by making one post, but if there is any feedback on how you all approach your work flows (whether composing or just following a score), I stand to learn a lot from it.

    I look forward to all of your responses.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    My only comments...if you can play, then play the parts in, at the correct tempo.

    Don\'t use placeholder parts, play to the sound you\'re going to use. Otherwise, what you play will have no relevance to the sound/articulation, and you might be wasting effort.

    You might want to also spend some time getting your tempo map where you want it before you begin, since tempo is going to affect the way you play and how notes relate to one another.

  3. #3

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    ... talking about tempo, what I usually do is play one principal part without a click, with all the expression and tempo changes I whant it to have, and then I adjust the tempo to make my notes fit the bar grid. Once this is done, I continue recording other parts as necessary.

    I think it is a matter of taste, but when I have the correct tempo I can work better on dynamics. Yes, I\'m a little bit rare [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] .

  4. #4

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?


    I appreciate the responses I got so far, but isnt there somebody who feels like mentoring a bit and is willing to lay out some good pointers for us newbies?

    I just spent 4 hours putting in 8 measures of score and although it is technically correct (musically) it dont sound anything like Boston Pops.

    For example, I am using GPO right now (because I have NO clue how to use EWQL Silver when a trumpet has both slurs and stacatto in the same track), but even with GPO, I cant figure out how to get good attacks on my notes. It all sounds the same. I did end up using Overature to enter my 8 bars (4 trumpets, 4 f horns and tuba)and exporting to midi into Sonar. I tried playing it in, but it just sounded to sloppy to me once I keyed in 4 f horns playing 32nd notes together.

    While experimentation is certainly a fall back option, life is too short to learn everything on your own. (if you want any kind of breadth to your life, that is) That is why people invest into new exciting hobbies and then drop them frusterated.

    I do appreciate the feedback on tempo I got so far. However, I was really expecting some good tips from anybody who has more than a month of experience at this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    New York City

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?


    Basically this is the process I use for scoring:

    Work Process
    1. Establish Form and Initial Tempo
    2. Determine Arrangement (See below)
    3. Play and Edit Performance
    4. Orchestrate further if necessary
    5. Engineer – render, mix, effects, master

    Arrangement Elements (foreground, middleground, background)
    1. Melody/Counterline(s)
    2. Foundation (basic rhythm)
    3. Counter Rhythm (percussion or rhythmic melody/harmony/pad)
    4. Fills
    5. Pads/Effects (mood or rhythmic)

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    > \" but even with GPO, I cant figure out how to get good attacks on my notes. It all sounds the same.\"

    The attacks from GPO are based on velocity. Try maxing the velocity by hand, and then work the mod-wheel for dynamics. See if that helps.

    Still, it\'s unlikely to get a \"pops\" sound. Most orchestral brass libraries have slower attacks than required. QL Brass is my solution for agressive brass.

  7. #7

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    (because I have NO clue how to use EWQL Silver when a trumpet has both slurs and stacatto in the same track),
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hi eegee,
    This is something I do quite often, and being a trumpet player myself, I\'m glad it\'s not very effective.. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    But as far as the slurs go, there really is no way to get a realistic trumpet slur in my mind, but I do use piano roll editing for most instruments, and I make sure that in some cases the note ends overlap the next attack. Not by much, each sample is different. This gives it a much more natural feel. Experiment with it, it\'s a pretty simple little tip, but it works great for me.
    Good Luck.

  8. #8

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    Hi Tim,

    (Love Prince of Persia, but LOTR: Return of the Kings is a bit hard)

    I made a separate post in the EWQL area, but the problem I have with Silver is getting a sample that sounds good thru fast and slow runs. I\'m assuming its a limitation of me as a programmer rather than Silver, but while the stacato sounds run thru the fast runs great, as soon as I hit a 1/2 note, the stacatto trumpet wont sustain at all. Alternatively, the more sustaining trumpet sounds wont even hit all of the notes of the fast runs at tempo.

    How does one fix this?


  9. #9

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    I\'d layer the two sounds on two different tracks. Use the expression control to crossfade, so the staccato starts it and the sustain finishes it. You\'ll have to experiment. If you x-fade too slowly, you may get a chorused or ensemble sound. If you x-fade too quickly, you may get a discontinuity. Fading immediately after the attack is likely the best time for the switcheroo.

  10. #10

    Re: Recommendations on workflow?

    Jon - now you\'re really going to see how green I am. I\'m not sure if I\'ve seen you post regarding EWQLSO, so I\'m not sure if you can answer this, but

    Is the expression control an actual knob on Kompakt or is it a cc I need to control from my midi controller?

    And - do you do this live while it is playing or do you do this by hand in your sequencer?

    Thanks - I\'m learning some good stuff on this thread.


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